Publication
Title
Suspect screening of wastewaters to trace anti-COVID-19 drugs: Potential adverse effects on aquatic environment
Author
Abstract
During the first period of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the lack of specific therapeutic treatments led to the provisional use of a number of drugs, with a continuous review of health protocols when new scientific evidence emerged. The management of this emergency sanitary situation could not take care of the possible indirect adverse effects on the environment, such as the release of a large amount of pharmaceuticals from wastewater treatment plants. The massive use of drugs, which were never used so widely until then, implied new risks for the aquatic environment. In this study, a suspect screening approach using Liquid Chromatography-High Resolution Mass Spectrometry techniques, allowed us to survey the presence of pharmaceuticals used for COVID-19 treatment in three WWTPs of Lombardy region, where the first European cluster of SARS-CoV-2 cases was detected. Starting from a list of sixty-three suspect compounds used against COVID-19 (including some metabolites and transformation products), six compounds were fully identified and monitored together with other target analytes, mainly pharmaceuticals of common use. A monthly monitoring campaign was conducted in a WWTP from April to December 2020 and the temporal trends of some anti-COVID-19 drugs were positively correlated with those of COVID-19 cases and deaths. The comparison of the average emission loads among the three WWTPs evidenced that the highest loads of hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and ciprofloxacin were measured in the WWTP which received the sewages from a hospital specializing in the treatment of COVID-19 patients. The monitoring of the receiving water bodies evidenced the presence of eight compounds of high ecological concern, whose risk was assessed in terms of toxicity and the possibility of inducing antibiotic and viral resistance. The results clearly showed that the enhanced, but not completely justified, use of ciprofloxacin and azithromycin represented a risk for antibiotic resistance in the aquatic ecosystems.
Language
English
Source (journal)
The science of the total environment. - Amsterdam, 1972, currens
Publication
Amsterdam : 2022
ISSN
0048-9697 [print]
1879-1026 [online]
DOI
10.1016/J.SCITOTENV.2022.153756
Volume/pages
824 (2022) , 14 p.
Article Reference
153756
ISI
000766161300031
Pubmed ID
35151733
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
UAntwerpen
Research group
Publication type
Subject
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identifier
Creation 27.11.2023
Last edited 29.11.2023
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